WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked Democrats’ push to immediately bring President Donald Trump’s demand for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks up for a vote.

The GOP leader said the Senate would “begin a process” to address the issue. But the next steps are highly uncertain.

Trump has been pushing to more than triple the $600 payments approved by Congress. The House approved the larger checks, but the issue divides Republicans.

On Tuesday, two Georgia Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, said they support Trump's plan. They are in the fights of their political lives in runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine which party controls the Senate.

Meanwhile, President Trump is lashing out at congressional Republicans after the House easily voted to override his veto of a defense policy bill. More than 100 Republicans, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of GOP leadership, joined with Democrats Monday to approve the override, which would be the first of Trump’s presidency.

The Senate is expected to consider the measure later this week.

Trump slammed GOP lawmakers on Twitter, charging that “Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass.″

The $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act affirms a 3% pay raise for U.S. troops, improvements for military housing and more.

(Story written by LISA MASCARO and JILL COLVIN/AP)

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